Today is Independent Bookstore Day in the United States, assuming you are reading this on the day it comes out. (And it really doesn’t matter if you’re not. All the important bits still apply.)
Last year I was too heartsore/stunned/scared to post my usual love letter to independent bookstores. My beloved Seminary Coop Bookstore and its little sister 57th Street Books had temporarily closed their doors and were just beginning to figure out how to work through the pandemic. I had enough books on hand to keep me reading for the foreseeable future.* But I worried that brick-and-mortar bookstores would not survive.
A year later, my independent bookstore is still functioning, thanks to a combination of mail delivery, curbside service, and in-person delivery for those of us who live in the neighborhood. I’ve been an enthusiastic user of the in-person delivery option. In fact, I may have gotten a little carried away. Yesterday my book-delivering bookseller, on his second visit of the week, greeted me with a cheerful, “More books!” when he handed me my packages.
In the past, I’ve celebrated Independent Bookstore Day in person, armed with a wish list and an eye for the serendipitous find. This year, I plan to order another book or five and dream of the day when I can go back to the bookstore in real life. I can’t wait!
*(Who am I kidding? I have enough books on hand to keep me reading for years.